The End is Near

Cuddling into the couch tonight I mouth breathed my first little sigh of relief in a long time.  (My cold has moved into my nose and now I can only breathe through my mouth. You know.  Like that stupid kid who had head scabs in grade school)  I thought to myself, “The coop’s almost done, Karen. The end is near.  The chickens almost have a home, your blog is doing well, you made a nice dinner tonight and I think your toe with the bunion might be straightening itself out.  Things are great.“.

Then I got dizzy and fell off the couch.

Seems all the mouth breathing was depleting my brain of oxygen.  Karen’s dreamland was nice while it lasted.  It was better than nice. It was awesome.  I decided today I don’t use that word enough.  It makes me seem old not using the word awesome. All the cool kids use it.  This is awesome, that is awesome, everything is awesome.  I tend to reserve awesome for things like Niagara Falls and other natural wonders of the world.  Things that are awe inspiring.

Occasionally this pertains to an 8 toed cat or a really good pizza.  But that’s about the extent of it.  This lack of using the word awesome makes me appear old to those who do use the word awesome.  Did I already say that, like 2 sentences ago?  Wow.  Way to cement the idea your brain is young and spry, Karen.

I vow from this day forward to use the word awesome more.  Sound awesome?

Back to my mouth breathing.  After I managed to get enough oxygen back into my brain I realized things weren’t quite as rosy as I’d thought.  I gave some thought to what actually still needed to be done on this coop and it occurred to me.  The end, was definitely not near.

Remaining Coop Work

1. Stain all the spruce siding.

2.  Cut and install the siding.

3.  Cut and install foam insulation wherever possible.

4.  Paint the interior.

5.  Install the hardware cloth.

6. Trim.

7.  Build interior mechanics for sliding door.

8. Cut plexiglass for vent protection in winter.

9.  Install flatscreen and run satellite.

10. Make rolling boxes for grain and shavings side box.

11.  Make screen door for run.

12.  Take nap in coop run.

13.  Draft Kijiji ad “Free chickens to good or not so good home”.

14.  Take a nap in coop run.  Again.

15. Paint interior of coop and run.

16. Install solar light in coop.

17. Caulk around coop roof and interior.

18. Cry a little.

19. Level coop by raising up slate flooring in places.

20.  Cry a little more, save the tears in a decorative jar and hang it from a tiny bracket on the side of the coop.

So that’s what’s left to do.  Awesome.


  1. Thumper says:

    I like #12.. Take a nap in the coop.. that is so me!! And as an ex-Californian I give you permission to say Awesome whenever you want!!! Seize the word as yours!

    My goodness I think you are my long lost relative!! Love your writing!

  2. Daisy Jay says:

    We believe in you, Karen! Take it from someone who was lost in a battle of home improvement for over a year and lived to tell the tale: you can do it!

  3. Linn Caine says:

    Karen, I too, am preparing for coop building and chicken adopting. Your coop sounds “awesome”. Did you design it yourself, or is it from an acquired plan?

  4. Michelle says:

    Have you seen this? I know you probably don’t want to add to the workload but I thought you might like the herb garden thing. You know how you eat an elephant right? I’m cheering for ya.

  5. earthpuppy says:


  6. Bill C. says:

    Your work is so inspiring although I hope #18 is tears of joy, you earned it!

  7. Amy in StL says:

    I just feel the need to add “Awesome.” I didn’t want to feel old and out of touch with the kids these days.

  8. Shauna says:

    Awesome as usual! I’ve just found the place where I will be getting my pullets – we pick them up on July 9th – I’m super excited. The coop should be finished this weekend, and then we need to seal off the backyard so they can’t sneak out and party on the town. This is all so exciting:) Except for your cold, that’s not exciting, that just sucks.

    • Karen says:

      Shauna – Yes it does suck. Large. I’m still working (not ’cause I want to but because I find it more stressful to be sitting on the couch thinking about what needs to be done). I’m glad to hear your coop is almost done and you’re getting your chickens. I’m on the lookout for an Araucana to add to the flock. Very rare in these parts, but I may have a lead thanks to the good Dr. Richardson, whose coop I featured a few weeks ago. What kind of chickens are you getting?

  9. Benita says:

    Can’t breathe? Cut up a garlic clove and a raw onion, place it in a bowl by your head and breathe it while you sleep. Do this for a few nights and it will clear out your nasal cavities and make you dream of wonderful Italian restaurants.

    Get better quickly and Your posts make my day!

  10. Jen A says:

    Karen, you can’t promise the chickens satellite tv and a flatscreen tv and then not deliver. They won’t trust you anymore.

    So … are those feathery creatures still the best gift you’ve ever received??

    I’m glad you’re ignoring your rule to not post until the coop is done. I also like to break my own rules.


  11. Ana says:

    Yes! Wicked awesome!

    Also think the coop is wicked nice. : )

  12. Marie says:

    If anybody can do it, you can! We’re here to cheer you on and offer words of encouragement whenever you need them. I’m from Boston so I think you’re “wicked awesome.”

  13. Bobbie in Oregon says:

    Whaaa?!, No coop-cam today, sad day. Must be the full moon. Hope you feel better soon becuase there is apparently much to do. BTW, love the blog, keeps me rolling everyday. Cheers!

  14. Kristin says:

    Also, doesn’t painting the interior of the coop seem a tad unnecessary? The chickens certainly won’t care, and they’ll just crap all over it anyway. Were you joking about that–like the tv–too? Not to criticize your awesomeness, or anything, but it seems like you could just maybe leave this step out.

    PS watching you do stuff on the coop cam helps me avoid doing stuff…

    • Karen says:

      Kristin – No. The interior of the coop absolutely needs to be painted. I need to be able to spray wash the interior of it, especially the floor. Otherwise the stink and poo/pee will permeate the plywood interior for good. Especially because it’s so small. The paint will protect the plywood from stink and rot. No sense going to all this work to have the coop rot and permanently stink in a year. ~ k!

  15. Michele says:

    oh, Karen. I am assuming this overwhelming list of things to do means that you are going to stay in bed all day today (because that’s what I would do). I hope you get to feeling better soon and I have loved every minute of your live stream. Thanks!!!

  16. celia says:

    you’re almost there!!! awesome!

  17. Michelle says:

    Ha! Love #9 :)
    Will the satellite be tuned to Looney Toones episodes featuring Foghorn Leghorn?

  18. cred says:

    Wow, I have to go take a nap just reading your list.

    You may want to consider ‘not’ insulating or caulking the coop- chickens create a lot of heat and are insulated nicely already with feathers and down. It shouldn’t be draughty but sealing it may be a bad idea- not enough fresh air, too warm and too much moisture.
    Making the coop too air tight can cause respiratory illness in chickens- if they have to breath through their tiny beak nostrils, it could deprive their bird brains of oxygen and they’ll fall off their roost.

    You could then scratch 2 items from your list- that would be awesome!

    • Karen says:

      Cred – I have allll kinds of venting throughout the top of the coop, above their roosing heads. The calking etc. is to keep drafts out below. I’m insulating the top of the coop and the floor. ~ k!

  19. Karen says:

    Thank God you have a sense of humour!

  20. LeeAnne says:

    Hang in there Karen. You are going a great job and saving $$$$. My studio cost around $2000 and was not as involved. There is no stain or paint, we used the thinnest, cheapest plywood for walls You can fold and break it with bare hands. There are no windows and only two doors, one which was already made and bought from the ReStore so there is a “window”.
    Watching you on the ‘puter is fun. Your chickens are adorable. Love how they seem to follow you and walk on the laptop. It’s nice to come inside and hear them squee-clucking.(Squeakling? Scluckling?)

    Oh, and the very nice man who built the studio worked when he could. A about 4 hours a day, 2 or 3 days a week so it took 3 weeks to complete.

    Mike Holmes would be impressed with your awesome work ethics.

  21. Stephanie says:

    You are installing a flat screen and satellite for the chickens? That is “awesome” … I think?

  22. Betsy from OCNJ says:

    Hi Karen, I’ve been enjoying your posts and am now watching the cam. I think you are awesome. You might want to leave room inside that coop for a little gym. Exercising outside is quite difficult in the winter….Betsy

    • Karen says:

      Betsy – THAT is an exellent idea. No more than a few exercise mats, a jump rope and maybe some bars for pull ups though. Anything else would seem ridiculous. ~ karen

  23. Ellen Cicero says:

    Your lack of the use of “awesome” does not make you old, it simply illustrates that you are a person of intelligence who is able to think of more than one descriptor for something great. Like a good pizza or Niagara Falls.

    This note is accompanied by a large pot of virtual cfhicken soup that you may be soon cured.

  24. Jamieson says:

    When you’re done I suggest you move into this Cadillac Chicken Coop de Villa and let the chickens take over your house.

  25. michelle says:


    honestly. funneeeeeeeeeeey

  26. Carol-Anne says:

    I just finished reading your list and am going to take a nap!

  27. liz says:

    On another note, your guns in the Headline picture are awesome.

  28. SK Farm Girl says:

    “9. Install flatscreen and run satellite.” What?! No wonder those chickens are running amock! Letting television raise your chickens!?!? I hope you put the parental control/locks on the satellite in the coop; you never know what those chickens will learn watching TV! You crack me up ya ol’ hen you, Karen!

    PS – I love the word “awesome”, it’s so . . . awesome!

  29. B.J.M says:

    You forgot…pretend I’m a dude; buy a case of beer, have a couple pals come over and proceed to stand around looking and talking about it, while we drink all day!

  30. CJ says:

    You do get that resting is not the art of doing nothing but of doing something quite necessary. And the art of doing sick is terribly underappreciated in this world of take a pill and soldier on-ness.

    Just reading that list seemed exhausting let alone writing it or heaven forbid doing everything on it while mouth breathing.

    I’d like to see you show us the art of doing sick good and proper. Surely this has to include not getting out of one’s pjs, feel good food, chocolate and more feel good food.

    Although preferably food that doesn’t take much to chew because that doesn’t go well with mouth breathing. Unless, of course, you can give yourself the heimlich maneuver…What am I saying, you probably can.

  31. Rea Niece says:

    YOU are OSM (the way my kids abreviated awesome) and terribly inspiring! :)

  32. Bill Grigg says:


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